Sanjūsangen-dō is a Buddhist temple of the Tendai sect in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto, Japan. The temple was founded in 1164 by Taira no Kiyomori for the cloistered Emperor Go-Shirakawa, it is known as Rengeō-in and belongs to the Myōhō-in temple complex. Sanjūsangen-dō is most famous for its massively long hondō dating from 1266 and designated a National Treasure of Japan, the collection of sculptures it houses, including 1001 standing Thousand-armed Kannon, 28 standing attendants, a statue of Fūjin and a statue of Raijin, the principal image of the temple, a big seated statue of Thousand-armed Kannon, all of them designated National Treasures in the category of sculptures, most of them dating to the Heian to Kamakura periods. Sanjūsangen-dō was founded by the famous samurai and politician Taira no Kiyomori in 1164 for the cloistered Emperor Go-Shirakawa, he built the temple in the emperor's own compound Hōjūji-dono in order to gain a noble title, that of Chancellor of the Realm, becoming the first samurai to do so.
Go-Shirakawa's compound was around 1100 square meters in size, divided into Kitadono. When Go-Shirakawa passed away in 1192, he was buried in the temple's east Hokkedō; the temple complex included several buildings other than the hondō, including a gojūnotō, a Kannondō and a Fudodō. All of these buildings were destroyed in 1249 by a fire that broke out in the city; the Emperor Go-Saga ordered the reconstruction of the hondō, which began in 1251. The building survives to the present day. From the original 1000 standing Thousand-armed Kannon dating from the temple's construction in the late Heian period, only 124 were saved from the fire; the Emperor ordered 876 new Kannon statues to replace the lost ones. These were created by three groups of Buddhist sculptors, Keiha and Inpa, during the course of 16 years. A popular archery tournament known as Tōshiya was held at the west veranda of the temple for 255 years during the Edo period; the contest originated in the late 16th century dating back to 1606 when a samurai named Asaoka Heibei is said to have shot 51 arrows in rapid succession down the length of the veranda.
In the beginning, archers shot arrows from the southern end of the veranda to the northern end where a curtain-like ornament was erected as a target. The contest gained popularity during the Edo period and by the late 17th century competitions between participants from the Owari and Kishū provinces were drawing big crowds; the duel between the famous warrior Miyamoto Musashi and Yoshioka Denshichirō, leader of the Yoshioka-ryū, is popularly believed to have been fought just outside Sanjūsangen-dō in 1604. In the second Sunday of January, the temple has an event known as the Rite of the Willow, where worshippers are touched on the head with a sacred willow branch to cure and prevent headaches, a modern version of the Tōshiya, the Festival of the Great Target, is held on the west veranda, drawing 2,000 participants from throughout Japan. Archers shoot arrows into targets 50 - 100 centimeters in diameter and 60 meters away at the opposite end of the veranda; the main deity of the temple is the Thousand Armed Kannon.
The statue of the main deity was created by the Kamakura sculptor Tankei and is a National Treasure of Japan. The temple contains one thousand life-size statues of the Thousand Armed Kannon which stand on both the right and left sides of the main statue in 10 rows and 50 columns. Of these, 124 statues are from the original temple, rescued from the fire of 1249, while the remaining 876 statues were constructed in the 13th century; the statues are made of Japanese cypress clad in gold leaf. The temple is 120 - meter long. Around the 1000 Kannon statues stand 28 statues of guardian deities. There are two famous statues of Fūjin and Raijin; the 28 guardian deities stand in front of the Buddhist Kannon have their origins in Sanskrit texts of Hinduism. These ideas came to Japan through China, the presence of both Hindu and Buddhist deities at Sanjūsangen-dō temple in Kyoto suggest various theories of the origin and spread of the spiritual and cultural ideas from India to east Asia. Life-size statues of these deities are housed at Sanjūsangen-dō where they guard the principal statue of the 11 feet tall seated Senju Kannon.
The temple features 1,000 standing statues of the Senju Kannon. The deities at Sanjūsangen-dō include Naraenkengo-ou, Misshaku-kongorikishi, Touhou-ten, Birurokusha-tennou, Birubakusha-tennou, Daibon-tennou, Taishaku-ten, Daibenkudoku-ten, Mawara-ou, Jinmo-ten, Konpira-ou, Manzensha-ou, Hippakara-ou, Gobujyogo-ten, Konjikikujyaku-ou, Sanshitai-sho, Nandaryu-ou, Sakararyu-ou, Karura-ou, Kondai-ou, Mansen-ou, Magoraka-ou, Makeishura-ou, Kendabba-ou, Ashura-ou, Kinnara-ou and Basusennin; these deities trace their origins to Indian Dharmic mythology covering Hindu and Buddhist, correspond to Varuna, Lakshmi, Shiva, Vayu, Narayana and others. List of National Treasures of Japan List of National Treasures of Japan Sanjūsangen-dō official web site Accessibility information
Onigawara are a type of roof ornamentation found in Japanese architecture. They are roof tiles or statues depicting a Japanese ogre or a fearsome beast. Prior to the Heian period, similar ornaments with floral and plant designs preceded the onigawara; the present design is thought to have come from a previous architectural element, the oni-ita, a board painted with the face of an oni and was meant to stop roof leaks. During the Nara period the tile was decorated with other motifs, but it acquired distinct ogre-like features and became tridimensional. Onigawara are most found on Buddhist temples; the tile's name notwithstanding, the ogre's face may be missing. Chimera Gargoyle Imperial roof decoration Japanese architecture Shachihoko Shibi
In Japan a tōrō is a traditional lantern made of stone, wood, or metal. Like many other elements of Japanese traditional architecture, it originated in China. In Japan, tōrō were used only in Buddhist temples, where they lined and illuminated paths. Lit lanterns were considered an offering to Buddha. During the Heian period, they started being used in Shinto shrines and private homes; the oldest extant bronze and stone lanterns can be found in Nara. Taima-dera has a stone lantern built during the Nara period, while Kasuga-taisha has one of the following Heian period. During the Azuchi-Momoyama period stone lanterns were popularized by tea masters, who used them as a decoration in their gardens. Soon they started to develop new types according to the need. In modern gardens they have a purely ornamental function and are laid along paths, near water, or next to a building. Tōrō can be classified in two main types, the tsuri-dōrō, which hang from the eaves of a roof, the dai-dōrō used in gardens and along the approach of a shrine or temple.
The two most common types of dai-dōrō are the bronze lantern and the stone lantern, which look like hanging lanterns laid to rest on a pedestal. In its complete, original form, like the gorintō and the pagoda the dai-dōrō represents the five elements of Buddhist cosmology; the bottom-most piece, touching the ground, represents the earth. The segments express the idea that after death our physical bodies will go back to their original, elemental form. Called kaitomoshi, tsuri-dōrō hanging lanterns are small, four- or six-sided and made in metal, copper or wood, they were introduced from China via Korea during the Nara period and were used in Imperial palaces. Bronze lanterns, or kondō-dōrō have a long history in Japan, but are not as common or as diverse as the stone ones. In their classic form they are divided in sections that represent the five elements of Buddhist cosmology. For details on the structure of one of these lanterns, see the following section, Stone lanterns. Many have been designated as Cultural Properties of Japan by the Japanese government.
The one in front of Tōdai-ji's Daibutsuden for example has been declared a National Treasure. Kōfuku-ji has in its museum one built in 816 and, a National Treasure. A dai-dōrō is most made of stone, in that case it is called ishi-dōrō; the traditional components of a stone lantern are, from top to bottom:Hōju or hōshu The onion-shaped part at the top of the finial. Ukebana The lotus-shaped support of the hōshu. Kasa A conical or pyramidal umbrella covering the fire box; the corners may curl upwards to form the so-called warabide. Hibukuro The fire box where the fire is lit. Chūdai The platform for the fire box. Sao The post oriented vertically and either circular or square in cross-section with a corresponding "belt" near its middle. Kiso The base rounded or hexagonal, absent in a buried lantern. Kidan A variously shaped slab of rock sometimes present under the base; as mentioned, the lantern's structure is meant to symbolize the five elements of Buddhist cosmology. With the sole exception of the fire box, any parts may be absent.
For example, an oki-dōrō, or movable lantern lacks a post, rests directly on the ground. It may lack an umbrella. Stone lanterns can be classified in each possessing numerous variants. Tachidōrō, or pedestal lanterns, are the most common; the base is always present and the fire box is decorated with carvings of deer or peonies. More than 20 subtypes exist; the following are among the most common. Kasuga-dōrō Named after Kasuga-taisha, it is common at both temples and shrines; the umbrella has either six or eight sides with warabite at the corners. The fire box is either square with carvings representing deer, the sun or the moon. Tall and thin, it is found near the second torii of a shrine. Yūnoki-dōrō The second oldest stone lantern in Japan, found at Kasuga Shrine, is a yūnoki-dōrō or citron tree stone lantern; this style goes back to at least as the Heian period. The post has rings carved at the bottom and top, the hexagonal base and middle platform are carved with lotuses; the umbrella has neither warabite nor an ukebana.
The yunoki seems to stem from a citron tree. This type of lantern became popular in tea house gardens during the Edo Period. Ikekomi-dōrō, or buried lanterns, are moderately sized lanterns whose post does not rest on a base, but goes directly into the ground; because of their modest size, they are used at stone basins in gardens. The foll
A tahōtō is a form of Japanese pagoda found at Esoteric Shingon and Tendai school Buddhist temples. It is unique among pagodas because it has an number of stories, its name alludes to Tahō Nyorai, who appears seated in a many-jewelled pagoda in the eleventh chapter of the Lotus Sutra. With square lower and cylindrical upper parts, a mokoshi'skirt roof', a pyramidal roof, a finial, the tahōtō or the larger daitō was one of the seven halls of a Shingon temple. After the Heian period the construction of pagodas in general declined, new tahōtō became rare. Six examples, of which that at Ishiyama-dera is the earliest, have been designated National Treasures. There are no examples in China, whether architectural or pictoral, of anything that resembles the tahōtō, although there is a Song dynasty textual reference to a'tahōtō with an encircling chamber'; the hōtō or treasure pagoda is the ancestor of the tahōtō and dates to the introduction to Japan of Shingon and Tendai Buddhism in the ninth century.
No wooden hōtō has survived, albeit modern copies do exist, stone, bronze, or iron specimen are always miniatures comprising a foundation stone, barrel-shaped body, pyramid roof, a finial. While the tahōtō is 3x3 ken, a larger 5x5 ken version exists, known as daitō or'large pagoda'; this is the only type of tahōtō to retain the original structure with a row of pillars or a wall separating the corridor from the core of the structure, abolished in smaller pagodas. Daitō used to be common but, of all those built, only a few are still extant. One is at Wakayama prefecture's Negoro-ji, another at Kongōbu-ji, again in Wakayama, another at Kirihata-dera, Tokushima prefecture, another at Narita-san in Chiba. Kūkai himself, founder of the Shingon school, built the celebrated daitō for Kongōbu-ji on Kōyasan; the specimen found at Negoro-ji is 30.85 meters tall and a National Treasure. Japanese pagodas have an odd number of stories. While the tahōto may appear to be twin-storied, complete with balustrade, the upper part is inaccessible with no usable space.
The lower roof, known as a mokoshi, provides the appearance of an additional storey. Raised over the kamebara or'tortoise mound', the ground floor has a square plan, 3x3 ken across, with a circular core. Inside, a room is marked out by the shitenbashira or'four pillars of heaven', a reference to the Four Heavenly Kings; the main objects of worship are enshrined within. Above is a second'tortoise mound', in a residual reference to the stupa. Since exposed plaster weathers a natural solution was to provide it with a roof, the mokoshi. Above again is a short, cylindrical section and a pyramidal roof, supported on four-stepped brackets. Like all Japanese pagodas, the tahōtō is topped by a vertical shaft known as the sōrin; this comprises the base or'dew basin'. The finial's division in sections has a symbolic meaning and its structure as a whole itself represents a pagoda. A number of smaller versions of the tahōtō are known, of stone, iron, or wood, similar to the hōtō. A number of mandala show the Iron Stupa in southern India, where the patriarch Nāgārjuna received the Esoteric scriptures, as a single-storey pagoda with a cylindrical body, a pyramidal roof, a spire.
The forms used in the tahōtō, namely the square, triangle, semi-circle, circle, may represent the Five Elements or the Five Virtues. The egg-shaped stupa mound or aṇḍa may represent Mount Sumeru, with the finial as the axis of the world; the tahōtō served not as a reliquary tower but as an icon hall. Tō List of National Treasures of Japan Pagoda Stupa
The rōmon is one of two types of two-storied gate used in Japan. Though it was developed by Buddhist architecture, it is now used at both Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, its otherwise normal upper story therefore offers no usable space. It is in this respect similar to the tahōtō and the multi-storied pagoda, neither of which offers, in spite of appearances, usable space beyond the first story. In the past, the name used to be sometimes applied to double-roof gates; this common single-roof gate was developed from the double-roofed nijūmon, replacing the flanking roof above the first floor with a shallow balcony with a balustrade that skirts the entire upper story. Therefore, while the nijūmon has a series of brackets supporting the roof's eaves both at the first and at the second story, in the rōmon at the first floor these brackets just support the balcony, have a different structure; the tokyō are three-stepped, but at the first floor they don't have tail rafters. Rōmon structure can vary in its details.
The upper area behind the balustrade for example can have muntined windows or a single window in the center bay. Side bays can be covered with white plaster. Rōmon but not always, have a hip-and-gable roof. Dimensions go from Tōdai-ji's 5 bays to the more common 3-bays, down to one bay. Iwanami Nihonshi Jiten, CD-Rom Version. Iwanami Shoten, 1999-2001 "Roumon". JAANUS – Japanese Architecture and Art Net User System. Retrieved 2009-06-19. Fujita Masaya, Koga Shūsaku, ed.. Nihon Kenchiku-shi. Shōwa-dō. ISBN 4-8122-9805-9. Young, David; the art of Japanese architecture. Architecture and Interior Design. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-3838-0. Retrieved 2009-11-11
Japanese rock garden
The Japanese rock garden or "dry landscape" garden called a zen garden, creates a miniature stylized landscape through composed arrangements of rocks, water features, pruned trees and bushes, uses gravel or sand, raked to represent ripples in water. A zen garden is relatively small, surrounded by a wall, is meant to be seen while seated from a single viewpoint outside the garden, such as the porch of the hojo, the residence of the chief monk of the temple or monastery. Classical zen gardens were created at temples of Zen Buddhism in Kyoto during the Muromachi period, they were intended to imitate the intimate essence of nature, not its actual appearance, to serve as an aid to meditation about the true meaning of life. Rock gardens existed in Japan at least since the Heian period; these early gardens were described in the first manual of Japanese gardens, written at the end of the 11th century by Tachibana no Toshitsuna. They were copied from the Chinese gardens of the Song Dynasty, where groups of rocks symbolized Mount Penglai, the legendary mountain-island home of the Eight Immortals in Chinese mythology, known in Japanese as Horai.
The Sakuteiki described how rocks should be placed. In one passage, he wrote: "In a place where there is neither a lake or a stream, one can put in place what is called a kare-sansui, or dry landscape"; this kind of garden featured either rocks placed upright like mountains, or laid out in a miniature landscape of hills and ravines, with few plants. He described several other styles of rock garden, which included a stream or pond, including the great river style, the mountain river style, the marsh style; the ocean style featured rocks that appeared to have been eroded by waves, surrounded by a bank of white sand, like a beach. White sand and gravel had long been a feature of Japanese gardens. In the Shinto religion, it was used to symbolize purity, was used around shrines and palaces. In zen gardens, it represents water, or, like the white space in Japanese paintings and distance, they are places of meditation. The Muromachi Period in Japan, which took place at the same time as the Renaissance in Europe, was characterized by political rivalries which led to wars, but by an extraordinary flourishing of Japanese culture.
It saw the beginning of Noh theater, the Japanese tea ceremony, the shoin style of Japanese architecture, the zen garden. Zen Buddhism was introduced into Japan at the end of the 12th century, achieved a wide following among the Samurai class and war lords, who admired its doctrine of self-discipline; the gardens of the early zen temples in Japan resembled Chinese gardens of the time, with lakes and islands. But in Kyoto in the 14th and 15th century, a new kind of garden appeared at the important zen temples; these zen gardens were designed to stimulate meditation. "Nature, if you made it expressive by reducing it to its abstract forms, could transmit the most profound thoughts by its simple presence", Michel Baridon wrote. "The compositions of stone common in China, became in Japan, veritable petrified landscapes, which seemed suspended in time, as in certain moments of Noh theater, which dates to the same period."The first garden to begin the transition to the new style is considered by many experts to be Saihō-ji, "The Temple of the Perfumes of the West," popularly known as Koke-dera, the Moss Garden, in the western part of Kyoto.
The Buddhist monk and zen master Musō Kokushi transformed a Buddhist temple into a zen monastery in 1334, built the gardens. The lower garden of Saihō-ji is in the traditional Heian Period style; the upper garden is a dry rock garden which features three rock "islands." The first, called Kameshima, the island of the turtle, resembles a turtle swimming in a "lake" of moss. The second, Zazen-seki, is a flat "meditation rock,", believed to radiate calm and silence; the moss which now surrounds the rocks and represents water, was not part of the original garden plan. Muso Kokushi built another temple garden at Tenryū-ji, the "Temple of the Celestial Dragon"; this garden appears to have been influenced by Chinese landscape painting of the Song Dynasty which feature mountains rising in the mist, a suggestion of great depth and height. The garden at Tenryū-ji has a real pond with water and a dry waterfall of rocks looking like a Chinese landscape. Saihō-ji and Tenryū-ji show the transition from the Heian style garden toward a more abstract and stylized view of nature.
The gardens of Ginkaku-ji known as the Silver Pavilion, are attributed to Muso Kokushi. This temple garden included a traditional pond garden, but it had a new feature for a Japanese garden; the scene was called ginshanada "sand of silver and open sea". This garden feature became known as kogetsudai, or small mountain facing the moon," and similar small Mount Fujis made of sand or earth covered with grass appeared in Japanese gardens for centuries afterwards; the most famous of all zen gardens in Kyoto is Ryōan-ji, built in the late 15th century where for the first time the zen garden became purely abstract. The garden is a rectangle of 340 square meters. Placed within it are fifteen stones of different sizes composed in five groups.
Kyoto Kyoto City, is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture, located in the Kansai region of Japan. It is best known in Japanese history for being the former Imperial capital of Japan for more than one thousand years, as well as a major part of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area. In Japanese, Kyoto was called Kyō, Miyako, or Kyō no Miyako. In the 11th century, the city was renamed Kyoto, from the Chinese calligraphic, jingdu. After the city of Edo was renamed Tokyo in 1868, the seat of the Emperor was moved there, Kyoto was for a short time known as Saikyō. Kyoto is sometimes called the thousand-year capital; the National Diet never passed any law designating a capital. Foreign spellings for the city's name have included Kioto and Meaco, utilised by Dutch cartographers. Another term used to refer to the city in the pre-modern period was Keishi, meaning "urba" or "capital". Ample archaeological evidence suggests human settlement in Kyoto began as early as the Paleolithic period, although not much published material is retained about human activity in the area before the 6th century, around which time the Shimogamo Shrine is believed to have been established.
During the 8th century, when powerful Buddhist clergy became involved in the affairs of the Imperial government, Emperor Kanmu chose to relocate the capital in order to distance it from the clerical establishment in Nara. His last choice for the site was the village of Uda, in the Kadono district of Yamashiro Province; the new city, Heian-kyō, a scaled replica of the Tang capital Chang'an, became the seat of Japan's imperial court in 794, beginning the Heian period of Japanese history. Although military rulers established their governments either in Kyoto or in other cities such as Kamakura and Edo, Kyoto remained Japan's capital until the transfer of the imperial court to Tokyo in 1869 at the time of the Imperial Restoration; the city suffered extensive destruction in the Ōnin War of 1467–1477, did not recover until the mid-16th century. During the Ōnin War, the shugo collapsed, power was divided among the military families. Battles between samurai factions spilled into the streets, came to involve the court nobility and religious factions as well.
Nobles' mansions were transformed into fortresses, deep trenches dug throughout the city for defense and as firebreaks, numerous buildings burned. The city has not seen such widespread destruction since. In the late 16th century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi reconstructed the city by building new streets to double the number of north-south streets in central Kyoto, creating rectangle blocks superseding ancient square blocks. Hideyoshi built earthwork walls called odoi encircling the city. Teramachi Street in central Kyoto is a Buddhist temple quarter where Hideyoshi gathered temples in the city. Throughout the Edo period, the economy of the city flourished as one of three major cities in Japan, the others being Osaka and Edo; the Hamaguri rebellion of 1864 burnt down 28,000 houses in the city which showed the rebels' dissatisfaction towards the Tokugawa Shogunate. The subsequent move of the Emperor to Tokyo in 1869 weakened the economy; the modern city of Kyoto was formed on April 1, 1889. The construction of Lake Biwa Canal in 1890 was one measure taken to revive the city.
The population of the city exceeded one million in 1932. There was some consideration by the United States of targeting Kyoto with an atomic bomb at the end of World War II because, as an intellectual center of Japan, it had a population large enough to persuade the emperor to surrender. In the end, at the insistence of Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, the city was removed from the list of targets and replaced by Nagasaki; the city was spared from conventional bombing as well, although small-scale air raids did result in casualties. As a result, the Imperial City of Kyoto is one of the few Japanese cities that still have an abundance of prewar buildings, such as the traditional townhouses known as machiya. However, modernization is continually breaking down the traditional Kyoto in favor of newer architecture, such as the Kyōto Station complex. Kyoto became a city designated by government ordinance on September 1, 1956. In 1997, Kyoto hosted the conference.
Kyoto is located in a valley, part of the Yamashiro Basin, in the eastern part of the mountainous region known as the Tamba highlands. The Yamashiro Basin is surrounded on three sides by mountains known as Higashiyama and Nishiyama, with a height just above 1,000 metres above sea level; this interior positioning results in cold winters. There are three rivers in the basin, the Ujigawa to the south, the Katsuragawa to the west, the Kamogawa to the east. Kyoto City takes up 17.9% of the land in the prefecture with an area of 827.9 square kilometres. The original city was arranged in accordance with traditional Chinese feng shui following the model of the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an; the Imperial Palace faced south. The streets in the modern-day wards of Nakagyō, Shimogyō, Kamigyō-ku still follow a grid pattern. Today, the main business district is located to the south of the old Imperial Palace, with the less-populated northern area retaining a fa